One of the important things I’d like to do with this site is provide a place where parents can get quick, easy access to recall information for children’s products. Up-to-date recalls will be posted, and eventually we’ll have a sign-up for a monthly or weekly electronic newsletter that will, among other things, contain current recall information.
But what is a recall of a consumer product such as a toy or child safety seat? A recall is a corrective action by a company with regard to a product that it has discovered may be unreasonably dangerous to users. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has jurisdiction over toys and child safety seats sold in the United States, as well as other consumer products such as household appliances, sporting equipment and furnaces. It does not have jurisdiction over motor vehicles, drugs, pesticides or medical devices (other government agencies have jurisdiction over those).
The Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) is the umbrella statute for the CPSC. Section 2064(b) of the Act requires manufacterers, importers, distributors and Retailers to report to CPSC information about products that are potentially hazardous.
A firm or company must notify the CPSC if it discovers information that suggests one of it’s products:
1) contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard;
2) presents an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death;
3) violates a mandatory CPSC standard.
If you would like to report a toy, car seat or other product that you believe is dangerous, go here.
If you would like more information on what has been recalled, go here or here.
As I stated above, we will soon have a regular email or electronic newsletter going out with current recall information. If you would like to receive this information, please email me, Bryan Slaughter.
So, since we’re just getting started here, I thought I’d talk a little more about where I’m going with this site. Ideally, I’d like this to become a child safety community of sorts. I envision a place where people can go to find out about child safety, but also engage in discussions and debates about child safety. What have people come across that they think is particularly dangerous to their children? What was unexpectedly dangerous? What practical tips do people have to make their child more safe?
One thing I’m particularly interested in is the balance between keeping our kids safe and letting them test their limits. We could all put our children in a bubble where they’d never get hurt, but they’d be missing out on so much that makes life fun. Climbing trees, going too fast on a bike, pretending the top of a brick wall is a balance beam — all of these things are not only fun for kids, but it also builds their confidence. Most of it is common sense. Let them ride their bike a little too fast, but make sure they have a helmet. Let them walk on the wall, but walk underneath them to break their fall. Make sure the tree they’re climbing is a good climbing tree with sturdy branches. Kids are going to get injured — broken arms, cuts, chipped teeth — that’s all part of childhood and we as parents can’t and shouldn’t try to prevent all injuries. Our job is to do what we can to minimize the risk of the truly serious ones.
Welcome to the Child Safety Blog!
— The mission of this site is to be a central location where parents can go to find information about child safety. It is intended to be a starting point for parents interested in staying abreast of current child safety issues. The CSB will have updated information regarding recalls, child safety news, best safety practices, state-of-the-art products, as well as opinions about everything related to child safety. While the site will have tips about major topics such as toys, water safety, and safety in and around cars, it will also have links to the best websites for each of these topics. So, by coming here first, a parent can be confident that this site will have already done the research to find the best, most recent child safety information.
Who — This CSB was created and will be maintained by Bryan Slaughter, an attorney with MichieHamlett in Charlottesville, Virginia. Bryan devotes his practice to helping people who have been seriously injured by corporations who have acted negligently or have produced dangerous products. Over the years, more and more of Bryan clients have been children who have been needlessly injured.
Bryan and his wife Jennifer are parents to four wonderful kids (they’re the ones in the pictures above). When he’s not working, he’s spending time with his family and occasionally playing
— I find it meaningful to be able to help children who have been hurt, but it would be far more fulfilling to have a hand in preventing injuries before they happen, and that’s why I started this blog. Through my work, I constantly see what is safe and what is not. I see patterns of injuries to children — the same thing happening over and over. Children, as well as parents, simply don’t appreciate many dangers until it is too late. By raising awareness, I hope to help stop injuries before they ever occur.